It's Spring, when our thoughts naturally turn to closet cleaning...NOT!
All good consignment shoppers know the importance of cleaning their closets regularly. Do we all do it? Of course not! It’s a big task and demands a huge chunk of time, right? Not necessarily! Breaking it down into small chunks is the key to keeping your closet of resale shopping treasures in tip-top fashionable shape.
You love resale shopping and hitting all the local consignment shops – it’s such a treasure hunt! But with limited space in our closets it’s hard to know what to keep, what to resell, what to recycle? It’s all very easy to map it out in your head, but once you start into your closet, things can get murky. We all want a tidy closet filled with clothes we love and can easily find. Where to start?
May we offer a few tips as you embark on this task? There are many schools of thought about how to decide what makes the cut and what doesn’t. There’s the Marie Kondo method, made famous by her book and Netflix series. “Does it spark joy?” she asks. Well, certainly we all have pieces in our closets that bring us joy- the color, the fit, the way it makes us feel-all of these are completely legit reasons to keep things. Nevertheless, we all need a great pair of basic black pants and probably at least a few basic dresses and tops. While they may not cause you to spontaneously burst into blissful song, they are integral parts of a solid wardrobe. So joy alone can’t be the only criteria, in our opinion.
Then there’s the old adage “If you haven’t worn it in a year, you probably won’t ever again.” This school of thought has a lot to recommend it too. If anything, it might be a better gauge of how much you love an article of clothing and/or whether it’s still a style that works on you. After all, there’s a reason you’ve passed it over for a year or longer.
Next there’s the disciplined approach – "Whenever you buy something new, get rid of something else." While we truly admire this sort of diligence and it does keep your closet from becoming a crowded hot mess, it takes a considerable amount of mental energy to select what item gets the boot every time you bring a newly acquired piece of designer consignment clothing into the fold. Plus, if you want to take things to a local consignment shop, who wants to make a trip for just one item? That’s not efficient, even if you want to do a little local resale shopping! (Thus necessitating another weeding session!)
So, is it better to attack all at once, or one item at a time? Deciding on your approach will depend on your personality, the amount of space you have for storage, and what stage you’re at in your wardrobe assembly. If you’re an established professional with a closet full of wardrobe essentials, your approach will be different than a recent college graduate starting her first job. Coming out of college, or even starting in a new line of work generally means you are at a stage where you need to acquire more clothing than you need to discard.
Many of us love resale shopping, the thrill of the find and the experience of discovering that certain new designer consignment piece is joy-inducing all on its own! Shopping should be fun, and resale shopping adds the extra jolt of finding fantastic new-to-you upscale consignment clothing at a great price! It was just waiting for you!
Cleaning your closet will never be that fun. But- you will feel the satisfaction of accomplishment when you do. Moreover, you’ll feel extra special satisfaction when the items you bring in for consignment sell, and you have funds in your consignment account! Or what we refer to as our “Shopping Savings Account”. It’s ever so much fun to go resale shopping knowing you have money on your account to spend! It’s guilt-free shopping at its best.
It can be easier at the end of a season to determine what should be eliminated from your closet. At that point you are all too aware of what you wore and what you didn’t; what pieces you’re really tired of, and which were the real workhorses that you selected over and over again. Unfortunately, at the end of the season is the wrong time to bring those pieces for consignment. Here’s where you can jump the gun for the next go-round though. If you prep those consignment items now – clean and press what needs it and set it aside, you’ll be ahead of the game to consign them at the beginning of the next consignment season when shoppers are hungry for them. At Here We Go Again we start early – mid-February for Spring items and mid-August for Fall. If you have your pre-selected and prepped resale clothing ready to go, it’s an easy drop off at the perfect time to do a little designer consignment shopping for yourself!
One slick trick you can try at the beginning of each season, (especially if you have extra storage for off-season clothing, which is a luxury!) is to turn all your hangers backward on the bar. When you wear a piece of clothing and put it back in the closet, turn the hanger right-way-round. Now you can tell at a glance what has or hasn’t been worn. Throughout the season, as you shop and acquire new clothing you can easily determine what might be able to head to a women’s resale shop or donation because you’re no longer getting good use of it.
Let’s be honest: Facing the task of cleaning out our entire closet in one afternoon is almost enough to send most of us screaming for any reason to procrastinate.
So, another approach is to divide and conquer. Decide on a category (tops, skirts, pants, sweaters, shoes, etc.) and once a month or two only go through the items in that category to weed out what is working for you or not. One rule of thumb to help you decide is pretty simple – if you have to think about it, it’s probably time to let it go. You can go to the extra step of trying things on before you decide, but I think most of us already know without taking that additional step. If you’re really unsure, invite a close, honest (but not brutal) friend over to help. You’ll need to prepare yourself for some differences of opinion. Neither of you gets veto power, but be kind. We recommend you offer to do the same for her. It’s much more fun and an easier job to tackle with a partner. Going it alone can feel like a slog, whereas with a friend it will generate a lot of laughter and bonding.
Of course, covid changed things drastically for our closets. A pandemic can do that. For most people, suddenly, there was no real need for career wear, or dress-up clothing. Now that we’re two plus years into the pandemic, this is probably a good time to reassess, not just what you still like, but what suits your needs and perhaps dramatically changed work requirements.
Only one step remaining. This is where the three piles come in. One pile is for in-season clothing in very good condition, to clean and press for taking in to Here We Go Again for consignment.
Pile number two is things that are still in reasonable shape and have some wear left, but are maybe not as on-trend, or are lower priced brands or fast fashion. We recommend you donate those to shelters or places that will give the clothing away to those in need rather than selling it. Alternately, if you have a soft spot for a particular not-for-profit organization which operates a thrift shop that generates income for them, that’s also a good place to donate. If you need recommendations, we can help.
Third, is the pile of clothing or other textiles that are just too worn out to be resold. They have spots or holes or are just limp. Don’t send them into the trash – they can be recycled! There are bins around town that accept textiles and worn clothing and shoes for recycling. We also recommend JustPorchIt.com, a recycling organization that will pick up worn out textiles, clothing, purses and shoes for recycling. You can book a pickup on their website.
So, now you’ve cleaned some (or all) of your closet. Doesn’t that feel good? Time to go shopping!